As such, the beadle goes back to early Teutonic times; he was probably attached to the moot as its messenger or summoner, being under the direction of the reeve or constable of the leet.
After the Norman Conquest, the beadle seems to have diminished in importance, becoming merely the crier in the manor and forest courts, and sometimes executing processes.
From the Poor Law Act of 160r till the act of 1834 by which poor-law administration was transferred to guardians, the beadle in England was an officer of much importance in his capacity of agent for the overseers.
APPARITOR, or Apparator (Latin for a servant of a public official, from apparere, to attend in public), an attendant who executed the orders of a Roman magistrate; hence a beadle in a university, a pursuivant or herald; particularly, in English ecclesiastical courts, the official who serves the processes of the court and causes defendants to appear by summons.
BEADLE, also Bedel or BedelL (from A.S.